When we last left our heroine, she was on the verge of bankruptcy and she was on the lookout for a roommate ……. that was 1999. She found him. Anthony. And “she” was “me.”
Within two weeks I had halved my rent, halved the utilities, was able to have cable and now had internet. This was a lot of breathing room – and it was good at first. In stead of coming home alone, there was someone there. There was someone to help cook and help clean. No more VHS tapes at night to entertain myself – VHS tapes I had watched a kazillion times. Now there was CABLE. It was a dream. What a relief.
I started drinking more heavily – and I never dreamed that was possible. I felt like Miss Moneybags. The load was taken off and ……. you might think I’d use the extra money to start spending down my credit card balance. You might think that, yes. It would be most reasonable to think that. But I was not reasonable. I had all the time in the world to take care of that, I had a roommate, and besides ……. it’d been a long time since I had cash on-hand to do what I wanted.
So he was a big help. But? In time, he became someone to be fed and someone to pick up after. He was someone who ate my food. He left dishes in the sink. He snored – and this kept me awake in another room. This was the least of my worries – as aggravating as it was. Anthony obtained my ATM card and became aware of the PIN number somehow. He ordered things online with the ATM card/Debit card. Not only this, but he emptied my account at one point – and it had a measly $85.32 in it anyway, so that wasn’t hard to do. But he overdrew and my overdraft protection at the time meant I owed $25 for each overdraft. He overdrew three times. Soooooooo………… there was this “loan” he didn’t ask for PLUS $75 interest. He made no apologies, just justified it by saying “I’m sorry. I was drunk. I’ll pay you back.” And? He never did. He called out of work. A LOT. He didn’t have money.
There were more heaps of beer cans being thrown out. It was getting even more embarrassing. He never bought beer. Just drank mine – and I was buying more. Now I had two mouths to feed. I thought about playing chicken with him – just not bringing any home. But to deny him was to deny me, and that couldn’t happen. I thought about sneaking in booze and just keeping it in my closet, but the idea of skulking off to my room and sipping consumed me with resentment. I shouldn’t have to do this. Anywayssssss…………he’d probably call me out on it and I’d feel selfish for not sharing. And I resented him even more for that.
His drinking was annoying. Sometimes he’d cry. Sometimes he’d get angry. Sometimes he’d be cheerful and fun. There was no telling what would happen. It sucked. What a buzz kill. Yeah. He was killing my buzz. [And you’ll notice I’m not mentioning any of MY flaws. At that time, I didn’t see that I had any.]
Now I had full rent to pay, utilities to pay AND cable and internet………and there was a slug on my couch benefitting from it all. Actually. It was his couch. But it was my livingroom. The credit card came back out – the balance was growing. The place was always a mess. I was buying more groceries. I was not getting reimbursed.
In four month’s time, Anthony was tossed. Now what?